Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand and the main port of entry for international visitors. It is a sprawling, modern, busy city but not nearly so densely populated as other global cities of its same geographic size. The 60 square kilometers (23 square miles) that make up the region are home to 1¼ million people – one-third of New Zealand’s population. Known as The City of Sails, it is built on a narrow isthmus that separates two harbors – the Manukau and Waitemata – and claims to have more boats per capita than any other city in the world. That’s a fact that would be hard to dispute on a summer afternoon when the sky above the harbor is full of sails. Auckland has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world. In addition to nearly 20% of the population being of Maori descent, many islanders from the Cooks, Tonga, Niue, and Samoa immigrated here during the 1960s and 1970s. While there are definite draws in the city center, I think the best part of Auckland is to the west – specifically in the Waitakere Park Ranges – a magical spot only 40 minutes away and Auckland’s largest regional park. Covering over 21,000 acres, the Waitakeres are popular for walking, biking and surfing. Northland’s natural beauty is equaled by its fascinating history and culture. Northland is home to Hokianga Harbour, where Kupe, the legendary Maori explorer first arrived in his waka or war canoe. In 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi, an historic agreement between Maori and the British Crown, was drafted and signed at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. Inland, Tane Mahuta (the largest living kauri tree in New Zealand) and other towering kauri trees grow tall and proud and the waterways, seashores and islands of Northland all demand attention. A subtropical region, Northland is often referred to as the “Winterless North” and regularly enjoys the warmest temperatures in the country. A long, narrow peninsula, Northland is a big region with over 1,700 km (1,054 miles) of coastline. Exploring Northland can take days, weeks or months – give it as much time as you have. The Waipoua Forest is home to some of the largest and oldest kauri trees, as well as the largest population of brown kiwi in Northland. When I’ve stayed at the cabins, I’ve been woken by the shrill screams of kiwis – you’d swear someone was killing a baby! Or you might try golfing at Kauri Cliffs, an absolutely amazing golf course and retreat. I can’t even describe how beautiful the views are from the greens – the islands, the sea, it’s incredible. If you golf, and have a few extra dollars to spend, this is the place to do it. It’s currently ranked 49th in the world. The accommodation is, as we say in New Zealand, a bit over the top. It’s fabulous and I would like to move in. There is a pink shell beach that requires a bit of a hike down from the golf course, but you just can’t find a more beautiful place. These are just a few highlights described in this part of New Zealand's North Island. Loaded with color maps and photos, it covers all the places to stay and eat, plus the sights and activities you don't want to miss.
- ISBN: 9781556500480 |
- Hardcover: 300 pages |
- Publisher: Hunter Publishing, Inc. |
- Publication date: Apr 7, 2012 |
- Language: English |
- Format: Ebook